Like most organizations, the Lewis County Humane Society has had to find innovative ways to maintain its facilities in light of a financial hardship.

The novel coronavirus pandemic resulted in severe economic challenges to individuals, companies, public bodies and private groups. Safety protocols compelled businesses and nonprofit entities to close their doors or limit the number of patrons.

Many north country residents either lost their jobs or had their hours cut. Some merchants had to shutter their enterprises for good.

This has placed an enormous strain on the budgets for households and businesses. Organizations survive to a large extent off the donations they receive, so the economic downturn has hurt them as well.

But the Lewis County Humane Society managed to replace some of its indoor and outdoor dog kennels with some savvy fundraising. Members of the organization solicited sponsorships for each kennel.

The group raised enough money to put up eight new kennels. Humane Society board members Ron and Joan Mizzi as well as Jay Steiner spearheaded the project to get them installed.

“The Humane Society is always looking to make improvements for the comfort and care of [its] shelter animals and staff. These kennels will provide a great place for the dogs to be outside, and yet be out of the sun/rain, and enjoy the comforts of overhead fans in the heat. They have concrete pads, allowing much easier cleanup for the staff. This also prevents dogs digging out. This combined with them being covered on top is much safer and prevents dogs from escaping,” according to a story published Wednesday by the Watertown Daily Times. “One of nice things about this project is it was very low cost to the organization. All of the kennels have been sponsored. Individuals paid $400 per kennel to sponsor them, which covered material costs. The Humane Society will present sponsors with ‘thank you’ plaques. The three board members donated their labor to build them. The Humane Society had to pay only the general items, such as lighting, fans and floor drains. This summer many of the aging outdoor kennels have been replaced with some much nicer used ones that were donated when another local dog shelter closed down.”

The society has a long and proud history. The work it does has benefited this region tremendously.

“The Lewis County Humane Society’s mission is to prevent cruelty and abuse in Lewis County and to provide education on humane treatment of animals to both adults and children of Lewis County,” according to the group’s website. “The Lewis County Humane Society currently owns and operates a no-kill shelter in the town of Watson in Lewis County, New York. That shelter is contracted with the townships in Lewis County to house dogs brought in from the townships by the dog control officers. The shelter also houses homeless cats from the county.”

Members of the public are welcome to tour the Humane Society, 6388 Pine Grove Road in Glenfield. The organization is open from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; it is closed Sunday and Wednesday. Visitors are asked to adhere to safety protocols while there.

The organization needs additional donations to continue enhancing its facilities. People may visit wdt.me/5tkGPo to learn more about helping out.

They also may send contributions to the Lewis County Humane Society, P.O. Box 682, Lowville, NY 13367; checks should reference “kennel/fencing upgrades” in the memo. The society is a 501(c)3 group, so all donations are tax deductible.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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